Fox River cleanup gets watershed award

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A years-long project to make the Fox River cleaner was honored Wednesday as the 2019 Northeast Wisconsin Watershed Champion.

Fishing boat passes a PCB dredging barge on the Fox River (WBAY file photo)

The Fox River cleanup project and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources were awarded for their work in removing PCBs which were discharged into the river by paper companies from the mid-1950s until 1971.

The cleanup is paid for by the companies that released the PCBs, or their current owners, through a court settlement.

With the amount of cooperation done to help the environment, the project feels the award is well-deserved.

"Water knows no boundaries. We're all connected. So NEW Water has their role in water quality improvement. The non-profit source, they have their role with agricultural runoff and urban runoff and the toxic legacy in the river. We have our role to clean up the water by removing the toxins," Beth Olson, project manager of the Fox River PCB cleanup oversight team, said.

Organizers hope to have the PCB removal project completed by the end of this year then will continue monitoring the river for 30 years.

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